WandaVision, the weirdest entry in the MCU (yet), has a central premise of the superheroine Scarlet Witch creating a false reality for herself and her android boyfriend Vision. So far, the false reality has started out mirroring the earliest golden era sitcoms like Bewitched and The Dick Van Dyke Show. In an interview, Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda aka Scarlet Witch, revealed how the humor of WandaVision will evolve as they move forward in time to the '70s and '80s.
"The '70s women, it was almost like there was a relaxation of even just women in social behavior, and so that would affect their voices and the tone that they can take instead of it being all so kind of higher in level. So the '70s, even though it's this really strange Brady Bunch-aspirational time in this sitcom land, women were still able to kind of have a little bit more control or something that just grounded them a bit more in their voice. And then as we got into the '80s, with those teachable moments and how sincere everything was, that was just really funny."
Sitcoms have seen drastic changes in their style of humor and acting through the decades, to the point where golden era sitcoms are today seen as quaint and milquetoast. According to Olsen, the comedy of WandaVision will also reflect a trend towards darker humor and a more cynical worldview as the series finally moves into the modern era, when shows like Malcolm and the Middle and Modern Family have come to redefine the family sitcom.
"The humor of Malcolm in the Middle and then Modern Family becomes incredibly cynical, and that's what we found comforting, for whatever reason, as a society. So it was just fun when we were in this boot camp to not only just chart the physical changes as tools, but also, 'What was comedy for history of that time?' Like the fact that The Brady Bunch is a result of Vietnam or Rosemary's Baby is a film and Brady Bunch is on television, that doesn't make any sense to me. But for whatever reason, that's what the consumer was watching at home."
Of course, as much effort as the team behind WandaVision has put in to pay tribute to the world of sitcoms, the show is at the end of the day an MCU action-adventure. Both the leads of the show, Olsen and Paul Bettany, have confirmed that despite the cheery look and feel of WandaVision, a reckoning is coming for Wanda as she lives a life of blissful illusion with Vision, and that is when things will really start to get serious.
Written by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, and Kathryn Hahn as Agnes. New episodes air Fridays on Disney+.